SOLD! for $72,000.00.
(Note: Prices realized include a buyer's premium.)
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- Low Estimate: $16,000.00
- High Estimate: $18,000.00
- Realized: $72,000.00
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Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926), "Smoking with the Spirit," California Art Bronze Foundry, circa 1929. Bronze sculpture depicting a Native American Medicine Man seated on a naturalistic ground, smoking a long pipe with the skull of a buffalo. Signature "CM Russell" with a copyright symbol, skull mark, and California Art Bronze Foundry mark to base. Mounted on a later graduated oval wooden base. Sculpture: 4 1/2" H x 9" W x 5 1/2" D. Overall with base: 6 7/8" H x 10 5/8" W x 8 1/8" D. Note: According to the book "Charles M. Russell, Sculptor," by Rick Stewart, about a dozen lifetime castings of "Smoking with the Spirit of the Buffalo" (modeled in 1914) were produced by the B. Zoppo foundry, and a few were made the same year Russell died, in 1926, by Roman Bronze Works. In 1929, Russell's widow Nancy acquired the model for this work from Roman Bronze Works and had the California Art Bronze company produce an unknown number of casts. Stewart writes, "in his 1949 inventory of the Russell Bronzes, Homer Britzman maintained that a total of eighteen casts had been made of the subject. If this is accurate, it seems probable that Zoppo cast as many as twelve copies in 1916, per the original agreement. That would leave only six casts to be assigned to both Roman Bronze Works and California Art Bronze Foundry; currently, at least three Roman Bronze Works casts and two bearing the mark of the California Art Bronze Foundry are known… Besides an example in the Amon Carter Museum Collection, Roman Bronze Works Casts are in the collection of the Gilcrease Museum and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. One California Art Bronze cast is in a private collection, and another was sold at Sotheby's on October 31, 1975." The sculpture being sold in this auction is believed to be the California Art Bronze casting in the private collection referred to in Stewart's book (page 203). It has been in the same family since being acquired directly from Nancy Russell in 1929.
PROVENANCE: Private Nashville, Tennessee estate.
CONDITION: Surface oxidation commensurate with age and old break to pipe.